Standard based assessment (also known as standards based grading) is built on the idea that grades must have meaning, learning expectations are clearly defined, students should have multiple opportunities to demonstrate learning, and academic achievement should be reported separately from non-academic items such as class participation and extra credit. Standards based assessment allows students to learn at their own pace and understands that not every student will succeed on the first try. Homework and other similar items are treated as practice and part of the learning process. Therefore, students are provided descriptive feedback rather than a “grade” so that a student may improve their practice.
At Mapleton Middle School students will not receive grades, points, or percentages. Rather, a student’s learning is gauged on their current level of understanding and application of a particular learning standard. Teachers have identified those standards that are critical to student success for each class and grade level. These critical standards form the basis of teacher instruction and student understanding and application of each standard is assessed based on rubrics and performance level descriptors.